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The Program [Kindle Edition]

Suzanne Young
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” (Kirkus Reviews), true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in.

And The Program is coming for them.


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up-Four years ago, teen suicide became an epidemic, affecting one in every three teens. To combat it, a school district in Oregon developed "The Program," where teens are treated for their depression by erasing their memories and secluding them from their peers. As an increasing number of her classmates are taken away for treatment, 17-year-old Sloane Barstow knows better than to show emotion to anyone other than her boyfriend, James, especially since her brother drowned himself two years earlier, leaving her parents constantly on edge. But when her friend commits suicide and James is taken away, Sloane begins to slip into a depression that forces her into The Program, where she is gradually stripped of all memories of James and her past. As she struggles to start over, she finds herself questioning the integrity of The Program and why she is inexplicably drawn to a troublemaker named James. The story is intriguing, and while a little slow at times, teens will find themselves racing to the finish to see what happens to Sloane and James. Young has created strong characters that readers will fall in love with and has developed a captivating world that will not soon be forgotten. Recommend this one to fans of Lauren Oliver's Delirium and Veronica Roth's Divergent (both HarperCollins, 2011).-Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Hartford Public Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Imagine that suicide is a contagious condition affecting only teenagers. The early warning signs are negative emotions, depression, and despair, and infected teens are driven quickly to the point where they can think of nothing but suicide. This is Sloane’s world. She watched her beloved brother kill himself before her eyes. If not for the love of her boyfriend, James, Sloane is sure that she would kill herself, too. But she and James have vowed to each other that they will fight the disease, and love and comfort each other through grief. Teens seen demonstrating negative emotions are reported to The Program, where they receive the cure for the suicide infection but at a terrible cost. When Sloane finds herself swept into The Program, she realizes with a growing dread that everyone seems to know more than she does. Readers will devour this fast-paced story that combines an intriguing premise, a sexy romance, and a shifting landscape of truth. With big questions still unanswered and promising twists, this first volume in a new series will leave readers primed for more. Compare to Lauren Oliver’s Delirium or Ally Condie’s Matched series. Grades 10-12. --Diane Colson

Product Details

  • File Size: 1779 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005C7CWQQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,481 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of trepidation awaits! September 21, 2014
Format:Hardcover
Suicide rates are higher than ever in the time period for this book. Seems mostly similar to current time but medical technology is higher and civilization control it tighter. Why? because 1 in 3 teens are offing themselves.

Right from the beginning the program annoys me in how high risks are decided. I see why people are concerned... But they are asked these daily questions such as "Are you overwhelmed or lonely?" Who isn't, once in a while at least, 1 of those things. Ugh...they need a better set of standards to filter people. You can't cry in public that is bad. If you know someone who died that is bad and if you dare contact with someone just out of The Program, WATCH OUT!

The Program is there to take away teens that an adult considers a suicide risk (see the paragraph above for what can quickly get you there). The take you in and six weeks later you are re-introduced to society, happier than ever. Sounds good, right? Except for one major catch. The Program strips you of many of your memories. So students return not knowing their classmates and friends.

Sloane has had one of her good friends taken away. Not she only has 2 left. One of them is her steady boyfriend James. But when she losses them what happens to her? You got it...into The Program. For this I hate her mother. I understand not wanting to lose your daughter but just because others are gone does not okay what she does. I can't say too much without spoiling things so I will leave it off there.

Now I get that suicide is bad. I get wanting to get it under control but there is one thing that is in this book adults seem to have no control over. QuikDeath. A drink you take that will kill you in minutes.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject, couldn't put it down! May 4, 2013
By Audra B
Format:Hardcover
The Program exists to save youth from the suicide epidemic that has now grown to an international level. Sloane is passing by with the help of her boyfriend James, which seems to get harder with each passing day with handlers taking those infected to The Program, or others succumbing to the illness.

Reading The Program was like a breath of fresh air in the YA world. So much of this book reminded me of MATCHED, and yet at the same time it didn't. Even the simplistic cover reminded me a bit of it. You've got two people, standing together in solidarity in what seems to be Program uniforms. In the book we have Sloane, fighting against Society for not only her memories but also her friends and family. I don't want to spoil too much, but at times she's even fighting against herself it seems.

Young tackles some pretty deep issues in The Program with everything from teenage love, depression to even sex. The last part surprised me a bit as I couldn't really remember the last, if any, young adult book I read that directly mentions sex like this one does. And I think that's what made this book even more relatable. Young doesn't shy away from these teen issues that are relevant even today. She gets what teens are like, and that comes across so well in the voice of the characters.

The book is set in three parts, each as riveting as the next. There wasn't a single moment in this book where I felt bored or unsure of where things were going. I loved the experience of getting to read this one and can see it as a book I would gladly even re-read.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best I've read this year! June 3, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Let me start by saying that The Program has demanded it's way into by top 10 for 2013. I read many books every year but when you get one that screams when opened, I know it will be added to the list of favorites.
My copy is an ARC so I'm not too sure if the published copy is like this, but there are three parts to the story and every part begins at page one, so it's like three stories inside. This is the first I have seen of this and really found it interesting.

The story is about a time when a massively high amount of youth suffer from severe depression and thus, commit suicide if given the opportunity. There has been much work into helping save the kids and close observation is made for everyone. If signs are showing, they are whisked off to a place that everyone in their right mind fears. A place that alters your state of mind, making the children lose their memories and allowing them to return back to their lives as someone that they are not. Someone incredibly different than who they were because they have lost that person along the way. The children are said to be recovered, but anyone in their right mind knows better.

Sloane has had many friends and family that have committed suicide. She has all eyes on her now and can't even get the time she so deserves to grieve for her lost loved ones. She knows that the life she lives will end up getting disrupted and makes quick decision to hide her past so her future won't be left blank. Her journey is far more unpredictable than anyone could imagine.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another generic dystomance May 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Why has this genre gone so wrong? Dystopians were what really drew me into young adult literature, but I've had such a string of disappointments that it's making me start to wonder what I saw in young adult literature in the first place. Then again, I've read some excellent young adult novels in other subgenres, so what I really think is going on is that what started out as a promising genre turned into a trend in which everything that had the faintest whiff of "dystopia" about it was rushed to press. This book is but the latest example. Some spoilers to follow.

First off, there's an important point that I think needs to be driven home to any author who is thinking about writing a book in this genre: a dystopia should be built from the ground up and then peopled with characters who provide a lens for examining the dystopia. This book, like many of the other young adult novels I've read lately, misses the mark entirely. The characters in this book feel like they were plopped into the middle of the dystopia. Dystopians should be all about gradually peeling back the layers of a supposedly perfect society, so that the reader is shocked and horrified by what they see, so shocked and horrified that it makes them think long and hard about whatever aspect of society the dystopia is exploring. The characters in the dystopia should not run around talking about how awful the dystopia is--because it's not a dystopia. What makes a dystopia a dystopia is the fact that it seems to be perfect until the characters either gradually realize it isn't or until the reader does, due to the casual way in which the characters navigate their world, a world that strikes the reader as utterly foreign.

The Program could have done this, it really could have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but needs a better editor!
I liked this book a lot, I think it had an interesting plotline and the way it was carried out was well done. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Alison Cooksey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This was recommended to me by a friend and I'm glad I took her word and read it! So good!!
Published 5 days ago by catherine bourne
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing!
This book is excellent, awesome, and truly makes you think! This is my second time reading it after two years. Read more
Published 9 days ago by woodsever
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique twist on a dystopian novel.
*Spoilers*

Such a beautiful and fun story. Rarely do I read a YA book where the main character starts out in a relationship with the perfect man and fights to keep each... Read more
Published 13 days ago by jen
3.0 out of 5 stars and utterly horrible. Evil
This book was well written, engaging, captivating, moving... and utterly horrible. Evil.

It is impossible to tell if the author is cheating, creating a crisis with no... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Von
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was solid and I loved the premise
It was torture waiting for book 2. This book was solid and I loved the premise. It made my heart ache! Will reread this for years to come.
Published 16 days ago by Blondie
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend!
The Program is set in a world where depression and suicide are considered a virus. If you are thought to have caught the virus, the handlers come to get you and take you to a... Read more
Published 20 days ago by kaitlyn
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great gift!
Published 22 days ago by Larson Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Maci and Zoe's Review
I started this book coming away from a really bad one, and so I was really looking forward to this and hoping that it would be good. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Maci and Zoe Read Books
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It is a distopian love story. it is so electric and amazing I cannot wait for the second book.
Published 1 month ago by Kate Rasmussen
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More About the Author

Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order. Suzanne is the author of THE PROGRAM, THE TREATMENT, and A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL. You can visit her online at www.suzanne-young.blogspot.com.

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